The best scientific books about cat behaviour, which should be read by vets, vet nurses, and behaviourists

Who am I?

I am a writer and journalist who went back to study cats after my retirement. I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew. I was out of date and overconfident that experience could beat knowledge. I needed knowledge as well as experience. So I took a degree and a masters. These books will help anybody who wants to improve their knowledge of cats. Rescuers, pet owners, and behaviour people: we need to stay up to date and learn more if we want to help cats lead happy lives.


I wrote...

A Cat's Guide to Humans: From A to Z

By Celia Haddon, George the Cat,

Book cover of A Cat's Guide to Humans: From A to Z

What is my book about?

George reveals the truth about what cats think about humans – and it’s not all good news for humans! Don’t let your cat read this book. It might get ideas on how to manage and control you better. It is full of tips about training humans. 

The books I picked & why

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Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed

By John Bradshaw,

Book cover of Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed

Why this book?

I thought I knew a lot about cats until I realized I didn’t. I needed to get up to date with what science tells us about cats. So I recommend Cat Sense because it is the easiest read of all the books about cats that are based on good science. If you work in the veterinary, rescue, or behaviour field this is a good basic text for anybody without much time for reading. It is firmly based on what we know from science about cat welfare and behaviour. Read this and the cats in your care will benefit enormously.


Practical Feline Behaviour: Understanding Cat Behaviour and Improving Welfare

By Trudi Atkinson,

Book cover of Practical Feline Behaviour: Understanding Cat Behaviour and Improving Welfare

Why this book?

Cats often don’t get enough space in books about pet behaviour. This is the easiest-to-read scientific book about cats that you will ever need. Students, make sure it is in your university library. It cuts the information into easy chunks and yet keeps all the references that you might need to follow up. Trudi is a top cat behaviourist in the UK with a background as a veterinary nurse, so she really, really understands what makes cats tick.


Feline Stress and Health: Managing Negative Emotions to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing

By Sarah Ellis (editor), Andrew Sparkes (editor),

Book cover of Feline Stress and Health: Managing Negative Emotions to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing

Why this book?

Cats can be very stressed and unhappy without cat rescuers knowing it. This book will help you be a better rescuer. Cats don’t always show their emotions in a way that we can see. This is a serious book from International Cat Care, the best website for cat rescuers.  If you have a passion for rescuing cats, read it. Many cat rescuers need their knowledge updated and this is a good book.


The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat

By Sarah Ellis, John Bradshaw,

Book cover of The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat

Why this book?

Yes, cats can be trained. Training your cat is fun for you and it is fun for your cat. This is the best training manual you can ever buy and it also tells you a lot about cats. Have a go. You won’t regret it! I train my cats, even though I am a very amateur trainer, as you can see from my YouTube channel! They purr while they do it. 


Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour

By Daniel S. Mills, Maya Braem Dube, Helen Zulch

Book cover of Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour

Why this book?

I have chosen this book about dogs and cats, simply because the cat chapters are so good. It is sad that many animal behaviour experts concentrate on dogs and think they can use the same methods for cats. If you are studying animal behaviour with a view to becoming a behaviourist, this is worth reading for its cat chapters. The dog's ones are good too.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cats, Anthrozoology, and Ethology?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like For the Love of Cats, Honourable Cat, and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats if you like this list.